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The physicist Karl Jansky was born in 1905. While searching for the source of radio hiss that interfered with transatlantic phone calls for Bell Labs, he discovered that astrophysical objects emit radio waves. It was the birth of radio astronomy.
Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF

Jansky built a directional antenna to pinpoint the source of radio static that was interfering with phone calls. He referred to the antenna as his "merry-go-round" – it rotated on a set of wheel from a Model-T Ford.
Image: Bell Telephone Laboratories

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